June 2, 1997
Yes, I would like
to praise Allah and I am praying to Allah. Allah is most
gracious. I will ask Allah for forgiveness because he
created me and he will forgive me.
All of the brothers
on the row stay strong. (Some words about Allah that I
I love my family,
my mother. I will see her sooner or later. Life goes on.
Don’t let these
people break (couldn’t understand) you. Keep true to
nature. You do not have to act like them. Rise above it. (couldn’t
Praise Allah –
(some more Allah
21, was executed on June 2, 1997 for killing David Roberts, a 23-year-old
Paris Texas police officer, after he and an accomplice fled from a
holdup at an ice cream store.
Rogers and Willis Cooper robbed Braum’s Ice Cream
and Dairy Store around 9 a.m. in Paris, Texas, on Saturday, Sept.
21, 1985. Rogers and Cooper made the four female employees of the
store go into the back cooler. Cooper was holding the gun. “Rogers
was telling him to shoot the women the whole time, but he wouldn’t
fire,” County Attorney Kerye Ashmore said.
Later, one of the women telephoned 911 and
Roberts responded to the call. When Roberts pulled over the two
suspects, Rogers got out of the truck and shot Roberts through the
windshield of the police car. Then he opened the door, and shot him
five more times. Rogers and Cooper got back in the truck and drove
Public Information Officer Todd Varner was the
first one to arrive on the scene. “He had already called me for
backup and I was on my way,” Varner said. “I got there a minute
after he was shot.”
While fleeing from police, Rogers and Cooper
entered the home of a 50-year-old handicapped woman. They handcuffed
her and stole the family car. They tried to kidnap two other elderly
ladies and then held a man hostage while fleeing in his truck.
Rogers and Cooper were arrested around 5 p.m. 12 to 15 miles north
Rogers blamed his actions on the drugs he was
taking, PCP. The murder weapon, however, was never found. “Rogers
kept changing his story of where he threw the gun,” Varner said.
During the trial, Rogers admitted to firing the
gun toward the police car. In the punishment phase of the trial,
Ashmore had Rogers re-enact his actions. Rogers said he was aiming
at the car not the officer. “He fired all shots toward the driver’s
side of the windshield,” Ashmore said.
Throughout the trial, Ashmore said Rogers showed
no remorse. “He has an anti-social personality,” Ashmore said. “He
is manipulative, controlling, and without a conscience.”
Rogers’ case was appealed five times. Rogers’
defense attorney and witness of the execution, Susan Karmanian, said
one of the most unusual things about the case was the lack of
evidence presented. “Patrick’s first defense attorney made no
serious effort to locate people willing to testify on Patrick’s
behalf,” Karmanian said. “We located 40 people.”
She said one of the most important aspects of the
case that wasn’t considered was Patrick’s state of mind. “He was in
a drug induced stupor,” Karmanian said. “The jury was not given the
right to look at that aspect.”
Rogers’ last appeal was overruled on June 3,
1996. His last meal consisted of a Coke. He had many final
statements. He prayed to Allah and told his fellow death row inmates
“life goes on, you all stay strong.” To the victim’s family he said,
“What you want to see, you’re going to get.” His final words were
“kind of bad, isn’t it.”
Rogers was announced dead at 6:17 p.m. on June 2,
1997. Roberts’ mother and brother also witnessed the execution.
Making him suffer
Some family members of victims have a deep need to see the
murderers suffer as their loved ones did. "After it was done, we came
out, and it was like, `Is that it?' " recalls Danny Roberts. "My
brother suffered terribly when he died. I really wanted to see them
bring [Patrick Rogers] into the room and strap him down. They should
have let us see a little bit of the terror in Rogers's face that my
brother must have felt."
Danny's brother, David, a 23-year-old Paris, Texas, police officer,
was killed Sept. 21, 1985, when he pulled Rogers, then 21, over to
question him about a robbery. Before Roberts opened his police cruiser
door, Rogers fired a stolen pistol. Roberts's widow later gave birth
to his son. The Roberts family watched as Rogers was executed June 2.
"Do I hate Patrick Rogers?" asks Danny Roberts. "The first few
years after my brother died, yeah. But I don't know the man. I just
know what he did."